First of all I will say that I think I appear more self confident than I am! But I have grown a lot in my self confidence. I used to have no belief in myself and thought everything I thought or did was odd or different and was afraid of what others thought of me.
Probably the thing that helped me gain confidence the most was reading Psalm 139 everyday for at least a year. Slowly truths of who I was in God’s eyes seeped through the crevices of my seeking heart. Understanding that Jesus is my “beloved” and I am His. He knows every detail about me and yet HE LOVES ME!
Also being able to be honest with friends/mentors in how I really felt helped a lot. Also when people shared things with me on how they felt I discovered that EVERYONE has those hidden fears.
Lack of self confidence comes mostly from things that happened to us from birth to current date that have made us feel like less than “normal” (what NORMAL is and what we think NORMAL is are 2 different things). Normal is: EVERYONE struggles with lack of self confidence. When we realize that then we realize that no one has anything over us so we are after-all not as “weird” as we are afraid that we might be. And the people that appear very self confident normally struggle more with low self esteem than others. Take me for instance, You think I am very self confident- truth is I face a struggle of low self esteem. But I am active in the struggle. I know what is truth and I try to hang on to truths constantly to keep me out of discouragement.
A lot of lack of low self esteem stems to “unspoken fear monsters” controlling our thoughts. Things that we are afraid of uttering out-loud for fear that as soon as we say them out-loud some hidden “monster” will jump at us and verify that that is really how it is. The reality is that when we share those things with a trusted friend the “monsters” leave and since it is no longer unspoken they have no grounds to stand on.
I mention sharing our struggles with a friend, and I know that sometimes we can be afraid we are being a bother to others. I am very sensitive to that when I want to share things. It is very important that we have a trust relationship with whoever we talk with. Another thing—most people that burden down others aren’t even thinking about that possibility so most times if you are afraid of it you don’t need to fear that you are doing it!
Actually I LOVE hearing what others are going through. It rejuvenates me and keeps me going. I find it good therapy for myself to listen to others!